So I too was crazy about having a 3 axis mill. I basically now can
make all kinds of routers and mills from 300 dollars to what ever I
want to spend. There are ready available plans on the internet and
after hours of r&d I think I can say that its funny when I see a
$20,000 jewelry mill. I could buy a used haas cnc for that much that
could probably make tools and benchtops and etc. But I think you
haft to look at most things are centered around buying a package.
Software is the expensive part. I think it’s relative to who you are
and what you do. If you spend $1000 a week in paying for wax carving
you might want to get a roland or some other brand. If your
electro-mchanically inclined you might get a spur to build your own.
I dunno. The roland does have a scanning function built in which is
I always tell people to get some hands on with this type of work.
It’s like the new tool on the market that someone gets to add with
there other million tools but they don’t use it or can’t use it
rendering it useless to them. The tools doesn’t make stuff up on
As for the backlash being better with a belt driven as compared to a
ballscrew, leadscrew driven machine I would say it depends on the
machine and the application. For wax carving it probably is ok.
I have ballscrews with ballnut’s that would only lose. 001+/- per
foot of travel. That’s why they cost so much.
There’s a lot of factors of that can shape what decision you make.
For instance,who are you gonna call for technical assistance when
your custom built machine doesn’t function. What if you can’t get the
same exact part and have to retrofit. It cost’s you time. right.
With a name brand you can get part’s probably next day. So if you are
in the middle of a job that’s due yesterday it might help to get with
a company that can keep you running. Bye all means I am not
discouraging the gadgetly inclined people here to not pursue making
there own machines just presenting the possibilities. If you say shop
time is $50 dollars an hour and you spend on and off 20 to 40 hours
building and trouble shooting a homebuilt cnc it would cost you
$2-4000+ there alone. My biggest hurdle is the cost of cam software.
I have used some freeware types and others. They cost the real money
and I am not a software writer so it has to be payed outright.
Cad software can go from basically free to thousands and some of the
jewelry related packages will help you save on time with their
libraries of jewelry findings etc. So again it’s relative. So good
luck out there!!